10 feel-good books that will bring you comfort in uncertain times
Books have a way of making people feel safe no matter what’s happening. There is something about wrapping yourself up in a cozy blanket, grabbing a cup of your favourite hot beverage, and getting lost in a great story. Especially when it comes to feel-good books, these bring a little additional comfort when things are not looking so bright.
Now, amidst a lockdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it seems like the perfect time to dive into a comforting story. It can be a great way to relax and take your mind off the stress of your daily routine. In case you are unsure of where to start, here are 10 feel-good books that will bring you comfort in these uncertain times.
- I´ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson.
This is a dual point of view and dual timeline story, told by a pair of twins that used to be inseparable but are now on barely-speaking terms. The colourful cover accompanies its spirit. This YA novel is bound to get more than one smile (and perhaps a couple of tears to match) out of you. The characters are as memorable as it gets and their liveliness flies out of the page and into your heart. You will find yourself reaching back for it over and over again.
- Daddy-Long-Legs by Jean Webster.
This 1912 short epistolary (told almost entirely through letters) novel is a classic about Jerusha Abbott, an eighteen-year-old girl living in an orphanage who suddenly finds out an anonymous millionaire agreed to pay for her college education. Now she has someone to call “family” as she writes to this mysterious gentleman on the regular about her progress in school, even if he never writes back. Filled with Jerusha´s charming words and ideas, this story is perfect to be read in one cozy afternoon.
- Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz.
This murder-mystery novel is an homage to the Golden Age of Crime and it does a great job of featuring a story within a story. Editor Susan Ryeland is given the manuscript of Alan Conway’s latest novel and she has no reason to think it will be much different from any of his others. After working with the bestselling crime writer for years, she is familiar with his detective, Atticus Pünd, who solves mysteries disturbing sleepy English villages. But the more Susan reads, the more she’s convinced that there is another story hidden in the pages of the manuscript: one of real-life turmoil. There is something comforting about figuring out the answer to a mystery, and this story will grant you just that. If you are in the mood to be transported to a countryside village and solve a murder, this is one the cozy feel-good books for you.
- Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz.
This is a lyrical novel about family and friendship featuring two lonely teenage boys who, at first, seem to have nothing in common. But as time passes and they get to know each other better, a life-changing friendship is born. Through their bond, Aristotle and Dante will learn the truth about themselves and the kind of person they each wish to become. The writing here is absolutely stunning, and the sentiment escapes the pages as the two boys adapt to a society that is also in the search of its identity. This story is heart-warming, moving, and powerful.
- Where Rainbow’s End by Cecelia Ahern.
You might already be familiar with the popular rom-com movie Love, Rosie. Well, the film is based on this particular novel from all the feel-good books on this list. Following an epistolary format, this is a story about love and how life can get in the way of it. Best friends since childhood, Alex and Rosie keep growing closer by the day. But their bond is threatened when Alex’s family is scheduled to leave Dublin to move to New York and Rose’s hopes of attending college in the U.S are shattered by the most unexpected news… She is pregnant by a boy she had gone out with while on a rebound from Alex. With Rosie staying in Dublin to become a single mother and Alex living his new life in the States, the two of them will figure out that fate is not done with them yet. If you like books composed of clever letters, emails, texts, and missed opportunities, then this romantic story is bound to put a smile on your face… After it has managed to make you grunt in desperation.
- Space Opera by Catherynne M. Valente.
This sci-fi novel has the humour needed to bring you some comfort. Picture Eurovision but in space, oh, and it is somewhat of an actual battle instead of a musical one. Once every cycle, the civilizations of the universe gather for the Metagalactic Grand Prix – part gladiatorial contest, part beauty pageant, part concert extravaganza, and part continuation of the wars of their past. A one-hit-wonder band of human musicians, dancers, and roadies from London have been chosen to represent Earth on the greatest stage in the galaxy, where the fate of humanity relies on their ability to sing. With lots of puns and pop-culture references, this is one of the feel-good books that lighten up your day.
- Sisters of Willow House by Susanne O’Leary.
A heart-warming novel about the bond between sisters, set along Ireland’s windswept shores. This story follows Roisin McKenna as she heads to Sandycove to help her sister Maeve restore their aunt’s gorgeous tumbledown mansion Willow House. Despite the secrets hidden in the house, Rosie begins to feel a sense of that self she’s been missing for years and is swept up in the idea of another life she could be leading. Readers have called this story one of the best Irish feel-good books since its release. Now, you can give it a chance to make it one of your comfort reads. The best part is you get to mind-travel to the stunning shores of a small town in Kerry.
- Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson.
In case you are missing summer, this heartfelt summer story about friendship has you completely covered. Following the shy and closed off Emily as she finds herself crossing off items on a ridiculous to-do list in hopes of bringing her best friend Sloane back, who disappeared just in time to miss all their exciting summer plans. Filled with summery activities, lively characters, and just enough mystery to keep you wondering, this novel is as comforting as it gets. It will make you smile about friendship and the story of a girl facing her fears. It might even inspire you to do the same.
- All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot.
This book is the memoir of “the world’s most beloved veterinarian” and it is filled with stories of compassion, joy, hard work, and love. Herriot’s affection for all animals comes through the pages to bring comfort to readers like you. It is known as a feel-good and fun book that readers from all over the world have adored for years. If you are an animal lover, this is the one for you.
- Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell.
The last one of the feel-good books you should try is a classic when it comes to comfort reads. This coming-of-age tale of fanfiction, family, and first love features a girl whose entire world is being a fan of Simon Snow. She has always been one, along with her twin sister Wren, and they even run the most popular fanfiction for it. Though Cath has been the one dedicating herself to her fanfic, writing the most for a while. Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone, and with a story to finish before the final book of Simon Snow comes out. Fangirl has a bit of everything one could find comforting: fanfiction, college shenanigans, romance, friendship, and a tale of two sisters. Cath’s eloquence is charming, and the story she is writing is just as good as the book itself. You will find yourself gravitating back to this novel not so long after you have finished reading it.